MICHAEL Carrick has told of Middlesbrough's disappointment at this week's controversial decision to abolish FA Cup replays from next season - with Boro not consulted before the announcement, which sparked fury among EFL clubs.

The EFL have today condemned the decision and called for the FA and Premier League to reconsider the announcement after the angry backlash.

In a damning statement, the league said scrapping replays from the first round onwards "is just a further example of how the EFL and its clubs are being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid and that only serves to threaten the future of the English game".

Bosses across the EFL have slammed the decision since Thursday's announcement, and Carrick spoke on behalf of Boro at his press conference ahead of Monday's game against Leeds United.

He said: “From a club’s point of view, we’re disappointed with the decision that’s been imposed on us. It’s been taken out of our hands.

"On the club’s behalf, it is what it is. For me, it’s irrelevant at this stage. It’s a shame because there is a lot of good experiences that can come from replays.

"It gives a lot of clubs a massive opportunity to create special nights and memories and that now won’t be the case.

"The nature of football, it always moves and adapts and changes over time, but either way, from the club’s point of view, we’re disappointed."

The Football Association insists it “understands the concerns” of EFL clubs over the scrapping of FA Cup replays and will be sharing details with them on how new revenue will be generated.

They said in a statement on Friday: “We have been discussing the calendar for the 2024-25 season with the Premier League and EFL for well over a year.

“Removing Emirates FA Cup replays was discussed in the early meetings and all parties accepted that they could not continue. The discussions then focused on how to make all of our competitions stronger, despite having fewer dates available and wanting to maintain player welfare."

But the football league hit back, saying in a statement: "The EFL wishes to clarify further its position in respect of the Premier League and Football Association bi-lateral announcement over the removal of FA Cup replays and the role of the League’s representatives on the Professional Game Board (PGB).

"The agreement which now sees the abolition of replays from the competition format was agreed solely between the Premier League and FA.  Ahead of the deal being announced there was no agreement with the EFL nor was there any formal consultation with EFL clubs as members of the FA and participants in the competition. 

"In September 2023, the EFL did initially discuss with clubs potential changes to the FA Cup format but only as part of a wider and more fundamental change to financial distributions. As is now clear, there has been no movement in this area since September.

"This latest agreement between the Premier League and the FA, in the absence of financial reform, is just a further example of how the EFL and its clubs are being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid and that only serves to threaten the future of the English game. 

"The EFL today calls on both the Premier League and the FA, as the Governing body, to re-evaluate their approach to their footballing partnership with the EFL and engage more collaboratively on issues directly affecting our clubs."


Mark Robins, whose Coventry team face Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Sunday, said: “You look at the grassroots and the EFL, below, they’re all part of the pyramid that needs to feed each other and eventually feeds the Premier League. We’ve all played our part in developing them and that should never be underestimated or forgotten about."

West Ham manager David Moyes was asked about the changes at his press conference on Friday and said: “I think the football schedule is too full, I think there are too many games. Something has to give in football somewhere or you may find it’s going to be very difficult.

“I’m not saying that this was the thing that had to give, but somewhere along the line, I think something will have to loosen up a little bit to give the players a little bit more room.”

Moyes’ Manchester United counterpart Erik ten Hag said the scrapping of replays was “sad” but “inevitable”.

A Downing Street spokeswoman gave the Government view on the issue.

“David and Goliath fixtures are a part of the magic of the cup. And we know that replays have been a welcomed source of income for smaller clubs throughout the years,” the spokeswoman said.

“These are however decisions for the footballing authorities, but clearly it’s incumbent on the FA and Premier League to explain this decision and why it is in the interests of fans.”